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Female athlete to launch Olympic torch relay for 1st time

Shooting gold medalist Anna Korakaki from Greece has been selected to start the torch relay in the birthplace of the games.

ATHENS, Greece — For the first time, a woman has been chosen to launch the torch relay for the 2020 Tokyo Games at the birthplace of the ancient Olympics in Greece.

Greece's Olympic committee has picked Rio de Janeiro shooting gold medalist Anna Korakaki as the first torchbearer following the flame-lighting ceremony in Ancient Olympia on March 12. 

In a statement on social Media, Korakaki was excited about the opportunity.

"I would like to thank the plenary of the Hellenic Olympic Committee for the huge honor, because for the first time in history, a woman in our country will first carry the Olympic Light from ancient Olympia, before she begins her great journey around the world, to brighten up in Olympic Stadium and the start of the Olympic Games in Tokyo!" she said in her post.

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The carefully-choreographed ceremony is led by an actress posing as an ancient Greek priestess who lights the flame using a bowl-shaped mirror to focus the heat of the sun's rays on her torch.

The torch relay will course through Greece for a week before the flame is handed over to Tokyo organizing officials at a ceremony in Athens.

The 2020 summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan kick-off July 24 and end about two weeks later on August 9.

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